Past and Present

I took these photos this summer. The Holy Spirit moved in my heart as soon as I stepped foot into that beautiful church and saw the stained glass windows. My desire was to write and post about it immediately but my spirit said, “Wait”. This morning, when I got up, the photo came to my mind.  I honestly hadn’t thought about it for months. But, it’s as if my soul said, “Now”. Write it now. 

I love stained glass. When I was a young girl in elementary school our church built a new sanctuary. I was sad that the old sanctuary was torn down. The old sanctuary is where I first learned the importance of worship and the importance of having a Christian community. It is where I accepted Christ as my Savior. I was going to miss the wood floors, the baptistry where I was baptized, and so many other things. 

But the first Sunday morning I walked into worship with my parents in the new sanctuary …and there they were. The stained glass windows had the light of that beautiful Sunday morning shining through and there were colorful works of art being displayed all over the pews, the walls and the people. For the following years of my youth I would always try to make sure I would sit where the light shining through those windows would rest on and around me. 

Pondering the Lesson

So here I sit, recalling the still small voice that moved in my soul that hot summer day in that little church in Taos. There are so many Biblical lessons I could write about in relation to what I saw that day. But this is the question that was gently laid on my soul. 

Kelly, are you allowing the light of Christ to shine through you? Are you emptied out enough, transparent enough, filled enough with the Spirit of Christ, that when the light shines through you, people see Jesus? I have to admit that sometimes I am so filled with unimportant things, thoughts, priorities, goals, comparisons, doubts, fears, plans, etc that there is no way the light of Christ can shine through. Sometimes, I am tuned in to the presence of Christ and there is a pretty good representation of Christ being shown in my life. I can tell you the life I prefer living. I can also tell you that it is a choice that has to be made every single day.

A perfect image of the Creator

I looked at the light shining through these windows, and saw the perfect image of the window- as it was designed by its creator being brilliantly recreated as a beautiful mix of light and design on the window sill. The colors were clear and true. I want to be this type of Christian. With the light of Christ shining through me, I want the image created to be the exact picture of what my Creator desires for me to be. I want to be a beautiful mix of the light of Christ and the unique person he designed for me to be.

Spreading like wildflowers in the Spring

I turned to leave the church that had touched my heart so deeply and I saw the most beautiful thing. The light shining through those windows was not only making a beautiful picture on the window sills. It was also creating dancing patterns of light and color across all the pews and walls! I remember something that I have known for a very long time. When we let the light of Christ shine through us, it not only shines clearly to those closest to us, it also spreads like wildflowers in open fields in the springtime to people we may never even meet face to face.

Making it Happen

So how do we prepare our heart and soul to be a light to the world? First, we have to make sure that we have a relationship with the One who is the Light of the World. Scripture makes it clear. In John 12 Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” It has to be a chosen relationship with Christ, believing that He is the Son of God and accepting Him as Savior and Lord. Just knowing who Jesus is does not make a relationship. It has to be a choice. 

The next thing is so important and sometimes so hard. We have to let the Holy Spirit help us clear out all the things in our life that “muddy the water” and keep the light from shining through. Pray, read scripture, ask the Holy Spirit to show us, pray some more, read some more, listen to wise counsel, pray more, and seek God. Empty it all out. Toss out what is unnecessary and bad. What is left, lay it at the foot of the cross. The freedom that comes through grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love is beyond words. 

The most beautiful thing is, after cleaning house in your soul, then there is room. There is room for the presence of Jesus, the love He brings, the peace, the joy, the comfort, and a way to live in this world. There is room to breathe. Then, the Light of the World can shine through you and you will be sharing the message of Christ. 

Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” 

Challenge

You want a full and abundant life? Glorify God with your life. Friends, be that stained glass window that you see in these pictures. Let the light of Jesus Christ shine through you in such a magnificent way that the only one that receives glory is God.